Maintain Your Social Life During Isolation With These Online Video Games

Words: Nicholas Montegriffo

Right now, many of us are adjusting to a sudden downturn in our social life. It’s become almost a moral duty to bunker down and get into some long, campaign-heavy games instead of going outside. But let’s face it, we’re going to miss hanging with our friends.

Luckily, video games are here to bring us together via the magic of the internet. Some of you may already lead a double life as a guild leader in your favourite MMO, but that doesn’t mean you can easily onboard your IRL mates.

And with that in mind, I’d like to recommend a few titles that each offer something different, from casual fun to epic campaigns – but they’re all games that are made better with a few friends.

Pro tip: all of these titles are best enjoyed with a group voice chat on the side (over Discord, Teamspeak, Skype, or your own preferred alternative) to savour all the laughing, scheming, trash-talking and groaning in real-time. To set the right ambiance, make sure to have a beverage and snack bowl of your choice on hand, too.

Maintain Your Social Life During Isolation With These Online Video Games
Divinity: Original Sin 2 / Credit: Larian Studios

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Larian Studios’ fantasy RPG opus probably comes closest to recreating the party tabletop experience on PC and console, and the camaraderie that comes with it. Be warned, though, that this also means dealing with your friends’ unexpected hijinks as you explore the world of Rivellon together. It’s kept at least one long-distance relationship I know alive, and is perfect for geeks who miss their groups.

Up to four people can play at once, and each player can drop in and out freely. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support cross-play, so you’ll all need to be on the same platform.

Maintain Your Social Life During Isolation With These Online Video Games
Fortnite / Credit: Epic Games


‘s success owes much to it being a social platform on top of the appeal of the game itself. Epic Games’ battle royale lets you squad up with your mates and has built-in chat (including native voice chat), so you don’t need to run a comms app alongside your game.

is also the most accessible title on this list. It’s free and supports cross-platform play across PC, PS4, Xbox One, Mac, iOS, Android and Switch. If your circle of friends all prefer to use different devices, then may be your best bet for getting together in a virtual hang-out.

Maintain Your Social Life During Isolation With These Online Video Games
Crusader Kings II / Credit: Paradox Interactive

Europa Universalis IV / Stellaris / Crusader Kings II

Why not use your time being shut off from the world by from your living room? Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy titles are turn-based so you can relax on video chat, eat, drink, or do your home chores while your rivals and allies make their moves. And don’t forget to have some private chats to make secret deals and intrigue.

Huge maps with lots of factions can provide many days of triumph and disaster throughout a long lockdown period. In theory, up to hundreds of players could participate in a game; in practice, you can still manage over ten. The DLC list of Paradox titles can be daunting, but the host of a multiplayer game shares DLC content with the others, and is free to play.

Maintain Your Social Life During Isolation With These Online Video Games
Worms Reloaded / Credit: Team17

Worms Reloaded

Team17’s Worms has always been a classic party game series best enjoyed with friends, snacks and beers. And is your best bet right now for a good time on modern systems.

You can play with up to four friends, catching up and trash talking while you wait your turn and watch the chaos unfold.

Maintain Your Social Life During Isolation With These Online Video Games
Trine 2 / Credit: FrozenByte

Trine 2

Frozenbyte’s Trine games are beautiful puzzle-platformers that leverage the abilities of three distinct characters. is my personal pick of the series, though they’re all great for three-player co-operation.

The other games on this list are all violence-based, and I’d recommend this one for those who would prefer to keep the fighting to a minimum. is tricky enough to get you talking with your friends about solutions, but there’s no time pressure so it’s not off-putting for casual players either.

Maintain Your Social Life During Isolation With These Online Video Games
Broforce / Credit: Devolver Digital


This one’s for action junkies. is a loving tribute to muscular 1980s action movies in the form of a very silly and ultra-violent side-scrolling shooter. Bullets will fly, bombs will boom, pixelated terrain will be obliterated and justice will prevail. You can team up with up to four bros (any gender can be a bro here) to fight evil.

is easy to get into and tough to beat. But death is easily laughed off and the fast pace means that fallen heroes have just enough time to munch some snacks and cheer their teammates on before being brought back into the fray.


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